The name Farnese is one of Italy’s most illustrious. In Renaissance times, this noble family’s wines made scintillating appearances on the banquet tables of numerous European courts thanks to Princess Marguerite Farnese (nee Marguerite of Austria, an Emperor’s daughter). In gratitude to the Farneses, successive owners maintained the ancient name on local labels.
Farnese wines, encompassing an ample range of terroirs and microclimates throughout Abruzzi, instrumental in achieving complexity and consistency, are crafted in the heart of the Colline Teramane DOCG appellation, at state-of-the-art facilities covering 12.3 acres (3.2 of which is the actual winery). These were entirely refurbished in 2004 and now include ultramodern equipment and vinification lines as well as over 1,000 barriques of the finest French and American oak, employed for a maximum of three years, and 50 Slavonian oak barrels of 25 or 50 hectoliters’ capacity. Joint owners, Valentino Sciotti and the late Camillo de Iuliis, describe the Farnese philosophy in two words: Progetto Qualita, which is a stringent series of quality criteria that provides the framework of every single stage in the process from vineyard to bottle. No one on the Farnese team, no matter how small his role in the total picture, can stray from these demanding standards. The team itself comprises a large group of young, dynamic wine professionals. As Valentino explains, “the latest harvest alone saw us employ 6 highly experienced oenologists, all with a very solid reputation, four of whom had worked for some of the top wineries in France and southern Italy.” These six winemakers are led by Filippo Baccalaro and technical consultant Professor Mario Ercolino - not to mention top-notch agronomists like Remo di Giuliantonio. Research and development go side by side with this impressive quality set-up. “On the one hand, we are firm believers in the future of native grapes and those of southern Italy in particular; on the other, we like new challenges and look to the international wine scene. For example, we have commenced experimenting with select clones of Australian Shiraz as well as varieties from Chile and South Africa.”